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Biotech Medicine Science

Gut Bacteria Can Control Diabetes 271

Posted by samzenpus
from the with-a-little-help-from-my-little-friends dept.
Shipud writes "Insulin resistance is the harbinger of metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance is when the body cannot use insulin effectively. As a result, blood sugar and fat levels rise. Therein lies the path to morbid obesity, diabetes, stroke, and heart problems. A group of Brazilian researchers have taken a strain of mice normally known to be immune to insulin resistance, and made them insulin resistant (pre-diabetic) by changing their gut bacteria. They then gave the mice antibiotics, and by changing their gut bacteria again, reversed the process, curing them of the disease. Their research shows just how influential the bacteria living in our gut can be on our health."
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Gut Bacteria Can Control Diabetes

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  • so (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hypergreatthing (254983) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @01:59PM (#38653334)

    I think i'm missing something here. Obviously the cure for diabetes is giving people antibiotics so they reset their gut bacteria? I mean, i know i'm going out on a limb here trusting a slashdot editor approved summary submission but...

  • Re:so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @02:03PM (#38653386)
    Two problems. First, I imagine there are a variety of causes of diabetes. Changing gut bacteria need not help. Second, you need also to replace the gut bacteria with something better or the reset will just result in the old bacteria coming back.
  • by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @02:22PM (#38653624) Homepage

    Of many animals both available in abundance and ones that people don't feel too bad about possibly killing, mice and pigs share enough DNA and inner workings to make them both adequate test subjects. Animal testing works very well for many drugs, though of course we won't know how it will exactly react with people just as reactions will differ from person to person. Unlike animals, we interact with other drugs, activities, eating habits, and existing conditions.

    But I'm sure people with Diabetes are happier with your "[make] sure you are hungry" remedy. /sarcasm

    Just out of curiosity, are you also an antivaxxer? Psuedo-science is not "like" science. It is the opposite of real science.

  • Type II Diabetes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @02:27PM (#38653694)

    It's a common oversight in reporting about Diabetes not to recognize that there are two separate diseases with the same name. Type I ("One") Diabetes, also called Juvenile Diabetes, is caused largely by genetics and some unknown environmental factors. It is an auto-immune disease in which the immune system attacks the pancreas, causing the body to produce no more insulin. It's the type that requires insulin injections multiple times per day as well as constant monitoring.

    Type II ("Two", Adult) Diabetes is caused by genetics in combination with unhealthy lifestyle habits such as unhealthy diets. It's triggered when the body forms a resistance to insulin, normally due to its high concentration in the body resulting from unhealthy eating. It can often be managed by improving diet and/or oral medication, though in some cases it requires insulin injections.

    Both diseases result in high blood sugars, and thus the same symptoms, which is why they share a name.

    As a Type I Diabetic, it's frustrating when people assume I had an unhealthy childhood or poor eating habits as a young adult due to shoddy reporting that conflates the two diseases due to their horrible naming. I remember there being some call to rename one of the diseases to help avoid this confusion. But I can't seem to find a reference on the Wikipedia articles.

    When discussing Diabetes in the future, please be careful to specify which type you are referring to as they are really separate diseases.

  • Re:Of Mice And Men (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @02:35PM (#38653822)

    Mice aren't people. Most animal testing doesn't work because humans are different from the animals experimented with. That is why phase 1 (human testing) trials are so dangerous.

    As far as type 2 diabetes goes, it is the result of chronically overeating. It is like continuing to pump gas into your car long after the tank is filled.

    You can prevent type 2 diabetes simply by making sure you are hungry ( stomach rumbling ) before you eat, not eating crap and getting some exercise.

    That has got to be the most asinine statement ever.
    If type 2 diabetes is the result of over eating; then explain all the non-overweight type 2 diabetics.

  • by nanospook (521118) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @02:36PM (#38653840)
    What came first? The chicken or the egg? You see it as lifestyle choices but may not realize that the life style is being impacted metabolically behind the scenes. A person may act like a slug because they don't have energy. Its a cycle and it's hard to change. I'm a diabetic. But I exercise and eat fairly well. But when I was younger all I did was crave sugar constantly. 2/3's of my family tree going back 3 generations is diabetic. I don't think it's quite so cut and dry. To play devil's advocate, yes eating good and exercising will help tons! But it just doesn't always change the WHY of it happening.
  • Re:Obligatory (Score:4, Insightful)

    by m1ndcrash (2158084) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @02:52PM (#38654136)
    in Soviet Russia people like you would be sent to concentration camp for posting this shit constantly
  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:00PM (#38654272) Journal

    Conversely, I could also never reach 150 lbs without resorting to amputation. There is simply a range that my body is genetically capable of achieving. The same applies to everyone else.

    I've seen and experienced for myself far too many success stories with low carb/primal eating to take claims like that at face value. My personal experience corresponds to Mark Sisson's claim that diet is 80% of what determines your body composition.

  • Re:so (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:00PM (#38654286) Journal

    Perhaps in the future, you might be able to get treatments of beneficial stomach bacteria, maybe even in pill form, to help treat diabetes. I doubt this particular strain found in mice will work though, you would probably have to find a human analog or genetically engineer a bacterium more at home in the human digestive tract.

    You already can. http://www.wholehealth.com/health-articles/probiotics-may-have-role-in-and-diabetes-management [wholehealth.com].

    The natural medicine practitioners that so many folks on Slashdot seem to bash and ignore have been aware of the connection between L. acidophilus and a number of medical conditions for several years. It has just taken this long for the medical community to be sufficiently convinced that they were right through the use of double-blind studies.

    Acidophilus pills are available at pretty much every pharmacy and health food store (at least in the U.S.), from CVS and Walgreens to that weird place on the corner that smells kind of like incense, but not quite. I think if I had diabetes, I'd certainly be tempted to give it a shot. In the worst case, it doesn't help your particular form of diabetes, and you wasted a few dollars for a bottle.

    Consuming L. acidophilus is also known to reduce serum cholesterol, reduce lactose intolerance in many people (because it produces some of the enzymes that break down lactose), and reduce the incidence of diarrhea in many situations by crowding out the bad bacteria that cause it. Frankly, it's about as close as you can get to a miracle drug, at least when it comes to digestive health, and it's available over the counter for just a few bucks per bottle. And because each pill contains living bacteria that multiply on their own, you don't necessarily need to keep taking it, unlike drugs.

  • Re:so (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:12PM (#38654460)

    The healthiest people have the widest range of bacterial flora, usually established as a child and turn into a life long symbiotic relationship. A tablet could never cover the full range of bacteria for an optimal flora.

  • I tried it for IBS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigtrike (904535) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @03:51PM (#38654976)

    Like almost all of the "natural" remedies, it didn't work at all. I've heard the same story from 3 other people. I wouldn't be surprised if the only people that reported it to work weren't just experiencing the placebo effect. Double blind studies seem to confirm that it doesn't help at all for cholesterol: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15841092 [nih.gov]

    My prescription medicine for IBS started out as a "natural" medicine made from a plant, except that it works and is now western medicine instead of alternative medicine.

    If you have diabetes, you should consult your doctor before you go experimenting with natural remedies. Some of them, like St. John's Wort, can interfere with the action of the medication that's actually doing something. "Natural" substances aren't inherently safe.

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